Della Davidson Prize

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The Della Davidson Prize honors the life and work of choreographer and teacher Della Davidson, by supporting innovative dance and dance/theater artists. An annual prize of $1,220 (in honor of Della’s birthday 12/20) will be awarded to a choreographer/dance-maker producing work in the spirit of Della Davidson. The prize is by selection only; applications or nominations are not accepted.

2017 Awardee: 

Deborah Vaughan is the Artistic Director of Dimensions Dance Theater. Deborah received her M.A. in dance from Mills College. She has traveled and studied traditional dance in West Africa, Zimbabwe, the Congo and throughout the Caribbean. All along, it has been important to her to keep the company with one foot in each sphere – Africa and America, traditional and contemporary, past and present. Deborah’s relationships in the arts community developed through years of collaborative effort, bringing many artists together in creative partnerships and linking her choreography with the visual arts, theater, and music. Deborah brings to the stage both conceptual material and a point of view, that takes the experience of Africans and African-Americans to a new frontier by blending contemporary influences with the deep and vital traditions of the past.

Past awardees:
2016: Erin Mei-Ling Stuart
2015: Deborah Slater
2014: Debby Kajiyama
2013: Randee Paufve and Monique Jenkinson

Della Davidson (1951-2012) was a dance theater artist who created interdisciplinary works exploring the presence of women and the lyrical power of dance, image and storytelling. Over the course of her career, she created over 40 works and made her mark as a “central figure in West Coast dance.” She was a professor of Theater and Dance at the University of California, Davis and Artistic Director of Della Davidson Dance Theater and Sideshow Physical Theater.


Della’s innovative work on women’s desire, death, disease, and the fragility of existence was lyrical, collaborative, and multidisciplinary, using dance, theater and film. One of her greatest gifts was to recognize potential in others and bring out their strengths, whether they were her students, her dancers, her collaborators, her colleagues or her friends. Della’s sense of delight and play, along with a profound connection to the elemental forces of life and death, shaped her art and her life.

-San Francisco Chronicle

To donate to the Della Davidson Prize, click here.

della4Donations in the form of checks can be made payable to Dancers’ Group and mailed to:

Dancers’ Group
44 Gough Street, Suite 201
San Francisco, CA 94103

Questions: Contact Wayne Hazzard at 415-920-9181 or



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44 Gough St, Suite 201
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 920-9181 phone
(415) 920-9173 fax